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Introduced species can have strong ecological, social and economic effects on their non-native environment. Introductions of megafaunal species are rare and may contribute to rewilding efforts, but they may also have pronounced socio-ecological effects because of their scale of influence. A recent introduction of the hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius into Colombia is a novel introduction of a megaherbivore onto a new continent, and raises questions about the future dynamics of the socio-ecological system into which it has been introduced. Here we synthesize current knowledge about the Colombian hippopotamus population, review the literature on the species to predict potential ecological and socio-economic effects of this introduction, and make recommendations for future study. Hippopotamuses can have high population growth rates (7–11%) and, on the current trajectory, we predict there could be 400–800 individuals in Colombia by 2050. The hippopotamus is an ecosystem engineer that can have profound effects on terrestrial and aquatic environments and could therefore affect the native biodiversity of the Magdalena River basin. Hippopotamuses are also aggressive and may pose a threat to the many inhabitants of the region who rely upon the Magdalena River for their livelihoods, although the species could provide economic benefits through tourism. Further research is needed to quantify the current and future size and distribution of this hippopotamus population and to predict the likely ecological, social and economic effects. This knowledge must be balanced with consideration of social and cultural concerns to develop appropriate management strategies for this novel introduction.
Background: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a children’s neuromuscular disorder. Although motor neuron loss is a major feature of the disease, we have identified fatty acid abnormalities in SMA patients and in preclinical animal models, suggesting metabolic perturbation is also an important component of SMA. Methods: Biochemical, histological, proteomic, and high resolution respirometry were used. Results: SMA patients are more susceptible to dyslipidemia than the average population as determined by a standard lipid profile in a cohort of 72 pediatric patients. As well, we observed a non-alcoholic liver disease phenotype in apreclinical mouse model. Denervation alone was not sufficient to induce liver steatosis, as a mouse model of ALS, did not develop fatty liver. Hyperglucagonemia in Smn2B/-mice could explain the hepatic steatosis by increasing plasma substrate availability via glycogen depletion and peripheral lipolysis. Proteomic analysis identified mitochondrion and lipid metabolism as major clusters. Alterations in mitochondrial function were revealed by high-resolution respirometry. Finally, low-fat diets led to increased survival in Smn2B/-mice. Conclusions: These results provide strong evidence for lipid metabolism defects in SMA. Further investigation will be required to establish the primary mechanism of these alterations and understand how they lead to additional co-morbidities in SMA patients.
The complex life cycle of Trichinella spiralis includes the migration of newborn larvae through the bloodstream to their encystment in muscle. The parasite establishes an intimate contact with the erythrocytes of the host both during the migration of the newborn larvae and when encysting, as this parasite causes intense vascularization in the muscle cell. The goal of this work was to study the effects of various concentrations of T. spiralis muscle larvae (ML) on erythrocyte membranes. The treatment was performed by incubating human erythrocytes with equal volume of different concentrations of ML for 30 minutes, with controlled agitation (37°C). The control erythrocytes (with no contact with the larvae) were incubated in the same way with an equal volume of physiological solution. To evaluate the alterations to the erythrocytes by the action of the larvae and in the respective controls, an Erythrocyte Rheometer and a Digital Image Analysis technique were used. The results indicated that when the larval concentration was higher, the aggregation and erythrocyte membrane alterations were also higher. Also, the erythrocyte deformability index and the erythrocyte elasticity increased. The values of isolated cell coefficient varied from 0.51 in the treatment with 100 larvae/ml to 0.91 in the incubation with 1000 larvae/ml. This experiment shows that T. spiralis muscle larvae affect significantly the red blood cell aggregation and the erythrocyte viscoelastic properties.
Completed suicide (CS) is a leading cause of death worldwide and its rates are available for most developed countries. On the other hand, attempted suicide (AS) is a risk factor for CS but there are limited data on its rates in various countries. In constructing a ratio for AS/CS rates, most would agree that for CS, the denominator should be the annual suicide rate (per 100 000). As for the ratio's numerator (AS) per 100 000, there are three possible calculations: (1) annual prevalence from population surveys, (2) annual prevalence from national clinical registers or (3) lifetime prevalence from population surveys. We think that the first possibility would probably be the best choice but, unfortunately, surveys providing the annual prevalence of AS are lacking for most countries. Annual prevalence from national registers is also lacking for most countries and is contaminated by under-reporting. Therefore, in this editorial, we are left with only the last option, a ratio for lifetime prevalence of AS (per 100 000) divided by annual rate of CS (per 100 000). This ratio for AS/CS rates appears to differ substantially across countries worldwide but presents no big regional differences other than two remarkable exceptions, one per continent. In Europe, Spain and France had greater ratios (174.4 and 152.5, respectively) than Italy (64.1). In Asia/Pacific, New Zealand has a higher ratio (345.9) compared with China (75.8) and Japan (76.9). The ratio for AS/CS rates could be a good index for implementing evidence-informed decision-making regarding suicidal behaviour (SB) among health service managers, and for helping them in the allocation of health resources for the prevention of SB.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
Recent research has identified several potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia, including mental disorders. Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia and delusional disorder, have also been associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, but currently available data difficult to generalise because of bias and confounding. We designed the present study to investigate if the presence of a psychotic disorder increased the risk of incident dementia in later life.
Prospective cohort study of a community-representative sample of 37 770 men aged 65–85 years who were free of dementia at study entry. They were followed for up to 17.7 years using electronic health records. Clinical diagnoses followed the International Classification of Diseases guidelines. As psychotic disorders increase mortality, we considered death a competing risk.
A total of 8068 (21.4%) men developed dementia and 23 999 (63.5%) died during follow up. The sub-hazard ratio of dementia associated with a psychotic disorder was 2.67 (95% CI 2.30–3.09), after statistical adjustments for age and prevalent cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and renal diseases, cancer, as well as hearing loss, depressive and bipolar disorders, and alcohol use disorder. The association between psychotic disorder and dementia risk varied slightly according to the duration of the psychotic disorder (highest for those with the shortest illness duration), but not the age of onset. No information about the use of antipsychotics was available.
Older men with a psychotic disorder have nearly three times greater risk of developing dementia than those without psychosis. The pathways linking psychotic disorders to dementia remain unclear but may involve mechanisms other than those associated with Alzheimer's disease and other common dementia syndromes.
Two separate experiments were conducted in 2015 and 2016 in Citra, FL to investigate the effects of preplant application timing of 2,4-D and dicamba on sesame stand and yield. Nonlinear regression analysis was performed to determine the application timing that caused 10% stand or yield reduction (GR10) compared to the nontreated control (NTC) and expressed as d before planting (DBP; longer intervals indicate more injury). Likewise, regression analysis was used to determine sesame stand that resulted in 10% yield reduction (YR10) expressed as plants m−1 row. Stand measured 3 wk after planting (WAP) revealed 2,4-D applied at 0.53 kg ae ha−1 to be the least injurious treatment to sesame stand (GR10=6.4 DBP). Conversely, dicamba at 1.12 kg ha−1 produced a GR10 of 15.7 DBP for sesame stand at 3 WAP. 2,4-D applied at 0.53 and 1.06 kg ha−1 and dicamba applied at 0.56 kg ha−1 had the lowest GR10 for yield of 2, 3.7, and 3 DBP, respectively. Dicamba applied at 1.12 kg ha−1 proved to be the most injurious treatment to yield, which produced a GR10 value of 10.3 DBP. To simulate possible stand losses associated with dicamba or 2,4-D and the subsequent effect on yield, a separate experiment was conducted in which sesame was thinned to various plant densities and yield was recorded to determine the relationship between plant stand and seed yield. The regression analysis of these data was then compared to that of the experiment treated with 2,4-D and dicamba to separate any physiological effects of the herbicides that would lead to yield reduction from yield effects due to stand loss only. Rate constants were compared and no statistical differences were detected between herbicide and non-herbicide treatments, suggesting that yield reductions that occur from preplant applications of 2,4-D and dicamba were purely due to stand reductions.
Introduction: The social determinants of health (SDoH) can play a significant role in a person’s overall wellbeing. This is especially true for adults with mental illness and mental health disorders. In this study, we describe the SDoH of patients presenting to an academic, inner-city emergency department (ED) with an acute mental health complaint (AMHC). Methods: We prospectively identified and enrolled a convenience sample of patients presenting to an ED with an annual census of 85,000 visits. Participants provided informed written consent, and completed a questionnaire package containing questions related to demographics and SDoH. As well, participants were asked to complete four mental health, quality of life, and recovery validated patient-reported outcome measures. Results: A total 108 participants were enrolled in this study, of which 65% were male, aged 37.5 years (IQR 26.7-50.3), 56% Caucasian, and 22% Aboriginal. Depression was the primary diagnosis reported by 55% of participants, with 58.9% meeting the PhQ-9 cutoff for moderate-severe depression. The highest level of educational achievement for 44% of participants was high school or less, with 75% reporting being unemployed. Almost half (45%) reported engaging in less than two hours of structured activity each week. Thirty eight percent of participants reported living in their own apartment, with 25% reporting being homeless and 17% living in a single-room housing unit. The majority of participants (56%) sampled were not satisfied with their housing, and 67% were actively looking for new housing. Sixty percent of participants reported smoking cigarettes daily and 40% reported weekly cannabis use. A total of 11% of the sample reported that they did not have access to clean drinking water; 35% worried that their food would run out, and 47% reported cutting the size of meals due to a lack of money. Conclusion: This study lends evidence towards the circumstances in which patients presenting to the ED with an AMHC live and work. A considerable proportion of patients reported homelessness or being marginally housed, lack access to clean drinking water and sufficient food, and high rates of unemployment. Mitigating the effects of harmful social determinants is critical for optimal health of this population. Future work is needed to clarify the role of the ED in the surveillance, screening, and intervention of SDoH for this vulnerable patient group.
Introduction: In the last year, Canada published its Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) to ensure that patients receive the right treatment at the right time. Approximately, one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their life time, with many presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) as their entry point into the system. In order to improve patient outcomes and focus on patient-identified priorities, the aim of this study was to identify the short-term goals of patients with an acute mental health complaint (AMHC) presenting to the ED. Methods: We prospectively recruited a convenience sample of patients presenting to an inner city, academic ED with an annual census of 85,000 visits. Patients provided written informed consent and completed a survey package that included questions about employment intentions and short-term life goals. We collated the goals and used a content analysis to summarize the frequency of themes that emerged. Results: This study reports on the preliminary data from 108 of the targeted 200 patients (mean age 39.7 ±13.6 years; 65% male). A total of 75% of participants reported being unemployed, 84% of whom reported that they would like to gain some form of employment in the near future. Over half the sample (52%) identified that they were not satisfied with their current housing situation. In addition to improving housing and obtaining work, improving mental health (n=34), improving relationships with family or friends (n=27), going back to school (n=22) and managing addiction problems (n=20) were identified as the most common short-term goals. Other goals/priorities included improving physical health, traveling, exercising, and eating better. Conclusion: This study provides new information about the priorities of adults presenting with AMHC to the ED. It also offers insight into how to collaborate with patients to build sustainable, accessible, and coordinated care pathways that can bring about positive changes in their lives. This information can be used to compliment current care for mental health problems, ensuring greater quality, accountability, and continuity of care for this vulnerable patient group.
A latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) prevalence survey was conducted using tuberculin skin test (TST) and Quantiferon test (QFT) in 1218 healthcare workers (HCWs) in Medellín, Colombia. In order to improve the prevalence estimates, a latent class model was built using a Bayesian approach with informative priors on the sensitivity and specificity of the TST. The proportion of concordant results (TST+,QFT+) was 41% and the discordant results contributed 27%. The marginal estimate of the prevalence P(LTBI+) was 62·1% [95% credible interval (CrI) 53·0–68·2]. The probability of LTBI+ given positive results for both tests was 99·6% (95% CrI 98·1–99·9). Sensitivity was 88·5 for TST and 74·3 for QFT, and specificity was 87·8 for TST and 97·6 for QFT. A high LTBI prevalence was found in HCWs with time-accumulated exposure in hospitals that lack control plans. In a context of intermediate tuberculosis (TB) incidence it is recommended to use only one test (either QFT or TST) in prevalence surveys or as pre-employment tests. Results will be useful to help implement TB infection control plans in hospitals where HCWs may be repeatedly exposed to unnoticed TB patients, and to inform the design of TB control policies.
Two experiments were conducted in 2013 and 2014 in Florida to evaluate the effects of protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO)-inhibiting herbicides and single versus sequential applications on Palmer amaranth control and peanut injury. Protoporphyrinogen oxidase-inhibiting herbicides are among the last available herbicides for the POST control of acetolactate synthase (ALS)-resistant Palmer amaranth in peanut. Lactofen (219 g ai ha–1) applied 5 d after the initial application provided the highest level of Palmer amaranth control 7 and 14 d after initial application (DAIT). Delaying sequential applications of lactofen to 15 d resulted in the highest level of Palmer amaranth control 21 and 28 DAIT. Similar to Palmer amaranth control, foliar injury to peanut was often highest from lactofen applications, and by 28 DAIT lactofen treatments were the only treatments that caused foliar injury. Although no statistical difference was observed between yields of plots treated with acifluorfen (280 g ai ha–1), bentazon (560 g ai ha–1), 2,4-DB (280 g ae ha–1) alone or in combination with each other, plots treated with sequential applications of lactofen 5 or 15 DAIT produced the lowest yields. Sequential applications of lactofen applied 15 DAIT controlled Palmer amaranth more effectively than any other treatment but also caused the highest level of peanut injury. The use of sequential applications of lactofen was the most effective method for control of Palmer amaranth in this study, but did reduce peanut yield.
Two experiments were conducted in 2015 at multiple locations in Florida to evaluate the effects of planting depth and application timing on S-metolachlor injury in sesame. In both studies, sesame responded negatively to increases in S-metolachlor rate. Altering sesame planting depth did not provide increased safety to PRE S-metolachlor applications. Sesame establishment declined with increased planting depth, likely because of the physical inability of the small seed to emerge from the 3.8-cm depth. Delaying applications of S-metolachlor by 3 or 6 d after planting (DAP) consistently improved sesame establishment. Applications 3 and 6 DAP resulted in 89 to 92% seedling emergence at 2 wk after planting (WAP), relative to 55 to 63% emergence when S-metolachlor was applied the day of planting (0 DAP) or 3 days before (−3 DAP), respectively. Applications 3 DAP resulted in 21 and 2% plant stunting when evaluated 3 and 6 WAP, respectively, whereas all other timings caused 25 to 51% stunting. Yield was reduced 22 and 33% by the −3 DAP and 0 DAP application timings, respectively, whereas no reduction in yield was observed by the delayed application timings. Therefore, delaying applications of S-metolachlor by 3 to 6 days will likely result in improved sesame seedling establishment and total seed yield.
Childhood overweight and obesity are worldwide public health problems and risk factors for chronic diseases. The presence of SNP in several genes has been associated with the presence of obesity. A total of 580 children (8–13 years old) from Queretaro, Mexico, participated in this cross-sectional study, which evaluated the associations of rs9939609 (fat mass obesity-associated (FTO)), rs17782313 (melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R)) and rs6548238 (transmembrane protein 18 (TMEM18)) SNP with obesity and metabolic risk factors. Overweight and obesity prevalence was 19·8 and 19·1 %, respectively. FTO, MC4R and TMEM18 risk allele frequency was 17, 9·8 and 89·5 %, respectively. A significant association between FTO homozygous and MC4R heterozygous risk alleles and obesity was found (OR 3·9; 95 % CI 1·46, 10·22, and OR 2·1; 95 % CI 1·22, 3·71; respectively). The FTO heterozygous subjects showed higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures, compared with the homozygous for the ancestral allele subjects. These results remain significant after considering adiposity as a covariate. The FTO and MC4R genotypes were not significantly associated with total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and insulin concentration. No association was found between TMEM18 risk allele and obesity and/or metabolic alterations. Our results show that, in addition to a higher BMI, there is also an association of the risk genotype with blood pressure in the presence of the FTO risk genotype. The possible presence of a risk genotype in obese children must be considered to offer a more comprehensive therapeutic approach in order to delay and/or prevent the development of chronic diseases.
Since April 2015, whole genome sequencing (WGS) has been the routine test for Salmonella identification, surveillance and outbreak investigation at the national reference laboratory in England and Wales. In May 2015, an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis cases was detected using WGS data and investigated. UK cases were interviewed to obtain a food history and links between suppliers were mapped to produce a food chain network for chicken eggs. The association between the food chain network and the phylogeny was explored using a network comparison approach. Food and environmental samples were taken from premises linked to cases and tested for Salmonella. Within the outbreak single nucleotide polymorphism defined cluster, 136 cases were identified in the UK and 18 in Spain. One isolate from a food containing chicken eggs was within the outbreak cluster. There was a significant association between the chicken egg food chain of UK cases and phylogeny of outbreak isolates. This is the first published Salmonella outbreak to be prospectively detected using WGS. This outbreak in the UK was linked with contemporaneous cases in Spain by WGS. We conclude that UK and Spanish cases were exposed to a common source of Salmonella-contaminated chicken eggs.
A M2.5 solar flare observed by RHESSI in the 6-100 keV range on July 6, 2006 led to a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). Two compact sources at 12-100 keV are seen at the beginning of the flare, whose further evolution fits well in a loop. Also, time-profiles of the flare at radio wavelengths are compared. The X-ray light-curves at different bands in the 6-100 keV range and radio time profiles show some peaks superimposed on smooth variations. The aim of this work is to compare the X-ray light-curves, of fluxes integrated over the whole source, with the physical parameters of the sources of the flare. Yashiro and Gopalswamy (2009) have found that the fraction of flares that produce CME increases with the flare energy. Here, we look for the characteristics of an M2.5 flare that could make it a generator of a CME. The idea is, in future works, to look in the light-curves of similar flares at other stars for these features. It is found that the CME onset takes place around the time when an X-ray source at 12-25 keV of Chromospheric evaporation stagnates at the loop apex, before the main peak at the light-curve at 25-50 keV and at the radio emission curves. Probably, the amount of evaporated plasma could play some role in triggering the CME.
Despite documented increases in emergency department (ED) mental health (MH) presentations, there are inconsistent findings on the characteristics of patients with repeat presentations to pediatric EDs (PEDs) for MH concerns. Our study sought to explore the characteristics of MH patients with repeat PED visits and determine predictors of return visits, of earlier repeat visits, and of more frequent repeat visits.
We examined data collected prospectively in a clinical database looking at MH presentations to a crisis intervention program housed within a PED from October 2006 to December 2011. Predictive models based on demographic and clinical variables were constructed using logistic, Cox, and negative binomial regression.
A total of 4,080 presentations to the PED were made by the 2,900 children and youth. Repeat visits accounted for almost half (45.8%) of all presentations. Multivariable analysis identified five variables that independently predicted greater odds of having repeat presentations, greater risk of earlier repeat presentations, and greater risk of frequent repeat presentations. The five variables were: female, living in the metropolitan community close to the PED, being in the care of child protective services, taking psychotropic medications, and presenting with an actionable need in the area of mood disturbances.
Repeat visits account for a large portion of all MH presentations to the PED. Furthermore, several patient characteristics are significant predictors of repeat PED use and of repeating use sooner and more frequently. Further research is needed to examine interventions targeting this patient group to ensure appropriate MH patient management.
Bipolar disorder has been associated with cognitive decline, but confirmatory evidence from a community-derived sample of older people is lacking.
To investigate the 13-year risk of dementia and death in older adults with bipolar disorder.
Cohort study of 37 768 men aged 65–85 years. Dementia (primary) and death (secondary), as recorded by electronic record linkage, were the outcomes of interest.
Bipolar disorder was associated with increased adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of dementia (HR = 2.30, 95% CI 1.80–2.94). The risk of dementia was greatest among those with <5 years of history of bipolar disorder or who had had illness onset after 70 years of age. Bipolar disorder was also associated with increased mortality (HR = 1.51, 95% CI 1.28–1.77). Competing risk regression showed that bipolar disorder was associated with increased hazard of death by suicide, accidents, pneumonia or influenza, and diseases of the liver and digestive system.
Bipolar disorder in later life is associated with increased risk of dementia and premature death.
The AMIGA project carries out a multiwavelength study of the largest catalogue of isolated galaxies from the Local Universe (CIG, Karachentseva 1973). Compared to any other sample —field galaxies included— and using highly strict isolation criteria (unperturbed for at least ~3 Gyr, Verdes-Montenegro et al. 2005), all the results show that these galaxies have the lowest values of the physical magnitudes expected to be enhanced by interactions. This strongly supports isolated galaxies as ideal laboratories for the study of galaxy formation and evolution. Despite CIG galaxies show the lowest HI integrated profile asymmetry level when compared to any other sample, some cases present up to 50% HI asymmetry (Espada et al. 2011b). We aim to shed light over the causes and sources of such asymmetries with our deep radiointerferometric and optical observations of CIG targets. Since major mergers are ruled out by the isolation criteria, in this work we are addressing whether minor mergers, internal processes or primordial gas accretion are responsible for such asymmetries.